Earlier this month, when Essex County marked it's hundredth fatal heroin overdose of the year, District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett explained what he thought was responsible for the tragic loss of life... marijuana. While recent polls indicate that more than half of Massachusetts voters sensibly support marijuana legalization, law enforcement officials are still caught up in reefer madness hysteria. Blodgett's comments, which were reported by The Salem News, are so ridiculous that they're comical (emphasis added):
Blodgett attributed the rise in heroin use in part to the increased potency of marijuana, which he said often is laced with high percentages of THC, ecstasy or crystal meth and is much stronger than it was in the 1970s.
Blodgett said it is not popular to say that marijuana use leads to heroin, but he said that is often the case.
“I’m not saying that everybody who smokes marijuana will do heroin,” he said. “But everybody I talked to who did heroin and found themselves looking down the abyss said they started by smoking marijuana on a regular basis at some point in their life. That’s a fact.” Blodgett said drug dealers will drop the price of marijuana in an attempt to lead people down the path to cocaine and heroin.
“It’s supply-side economics,” he said. “The drug dealers know what they’re doing. They lower the price. They give it away in many cases. I know when the price goes up because the number of housebreaks on the North Shore rises dramatically.”
Blodgett said local school superintendents have told him that marijuana use is on the rise over the last two years, with students smoking in the parking lot and coming to school stoned. Parents are often dismissive of officials’ concerns, he said, with some saying mistakenly that marijuana is legal...
Blodgett also criticized the legalization of medical marijuana. On a recent trip to Denver, he said marijuana dispensaries were selling gummy bears and Yahoo chocolate drinks with 25 grams of marijuana.
“Who’s being marketed here?” he said. “Adults? Old guys like me? No, kids. That says everything to me.”
There isn't any evidence to support Blodgett's contention that economics savvy drug dealers are using free pot laced with ecstasy and crystal meth or "Yahoo" drinks somehow loaded up with nearly an ounce of weed to turn people into junkies.
It may be true that every heroin user Blodgett has ever met has been a pot user at some point, but that's meaningless when you consider that nearly half of all adults in the United States have tried pot before. I bet all the heroin users Blodgett has met have tried alcohol too. Correlation does not equal causation.
Blodgett, like many in law enforcement, seems to have a vendetta against marijuana users. He vocally opposed both the marijuana decriminalization and medical marijuana laws that voters passed years ago.
If voters were able to pass medical marijuana and decriminalization laws, perhaps they're also capable of replacing Blodgett with someone less delusional.